Tote Win: £0.00 Tote Place: ££1.10,£1.50,£2.30
Straight Forecast: £0.00 Exacta: £0.00 Trifecta: £0.00 Swingers: 1&2:£1.70 2&3:£3.80 1&3:£4.60
Jackpot: £5,565.40 carried forward to Aintree, 21st Nov, 0.5 winning tickets
Placepot: £174.30, Pool: £125541.4, 525.66 winning tickets
Quadpot: £17.30, Pool: £10122.61, 432.74 winning tickets
Zaynar was expected by many to emerge as the principal challenger to Big Buck's in the staying hurdle division but those dreams are on hold following a disappointing performance in a race that he won 12 months ago. The grey has shown a tendency to race lazily on occasion and wore cheekpieces for his victory in the Triumph Hurdle and when third in the Champion Hurdle last year and again at Aintree but was left off today. He raced wide throughout but ran in snatches and was sticky over one or two flights but did stay on for pressure to finish fourth and remains capable of better with this run under his belt and with the headgear restored.
Lough Derg ensured that this was a decent gallop with Black Jack Blues sensibly settled off the leader having become embroiled in a battle for the lead in the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton. They were only there on sufferance with Zaynar and Karabak (6lb better off with Zaynar for 6l from last year) held-up in rear with SILVINIACO CONTI travelling strongly to the fore of midfield on the inside with Restless Harry always prominent.
Silviniaco Conti had burst onto the scene this season with a 29 length success at Bangor following two wins in France in the spring and was then stepped up in grade at Chepstow where he was equally impressive in the Persian War. He travelled smoothly, jumped well and made his ground very easily to move into the lead approaching the home turn and Noel Fehily had no recourse to the whip in order to extend his advantage and the unbeaten French import certainly impressed his stand-in pilot.
Karabak has only ever won two novice hurdles but did finish second to Mikael D'Haguenet in the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle two seasons ago. He failed to bridge the gap to top class last season and sets the benchmark for the race. He made his ground smoothly from the rear and kept on well enough without being able to pull clear from Restless Harry and Zaynar.
Robin Dickin's stable star was left at the start at Chepstow on his reappearance but ran well in third, giving lumps off weight to the first two home. This was an excellent run over a trip that was on the short side on ground that was probably not testing enough but he could struggle to find openings until tackling fences.
Won In The Dark was ultimately beaten a long way but deserves some credit as he was right there jumping the second last and can do better when dropped back in trip.